Membership Monthly – August 2023

Updates from the NGA Membership Team for August 2023. For more about the programs below and a list of upcoming events please email us at:

ABOVE: Maryland Governor Wes Moore (top left), Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi (top right), Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (bottom left) and NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox (bottom right)

Chair’s Initiative

NGA to Host First Disagree Better Convening 

NGA will host the first in a series of convenings to support NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox’s Chair’s Initiative: Disagree Better

This one-day event will take place in Manchester, New Hampshire, September 12.

The event will be centered on the theme of Correcting Misperceptions and Highlighting Commonalities and will feature panel discussions with leading, bipartisan experts working in this area. The event will also include a practical application of the topics highlighted during the meeting through a service project to “Show Up for Teachers.” 

The meeting with commence with breakfast and culminate with a reception and a debate facilitated by Braver Angels, a nonprofit dedicated to political depolarization.

The Disagree Better convenings are designed to help Governors, Governors’ staff members and other partners and attendees learn more about the interventions that work to reduce partisan animosity and foster healthy conflict. The convenings will also focus on best practices to promote and amplify proven interventions and strategies.

Last month, Governor Cox announced his NGA Chair’s Initiative: Disagree Better. The initiative is designed to help Americans bridge the partisan divide and adopt a more positive approach to political and social discourse.

NGA Annual Meeting

NGA Releases Commentaries & Videos of Annual Meeting

The 2023 NGA Annual Meeting was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, July 12-14. 

NGA released the following written commentaries providing information about some of the top bipartisan policy matters discussed during the meeting:

Disagree Better – 2023 NGA Annual Meeting

Governors’ Actions to Accelerate Infrastructure Projects – 2023 NGA Annual Meeting

Strengthening Youth Mental Health – 2023 NGA Annual Meeting

Preparing for and Responding to Concurrent Crises – 2023 Annual Meeting

Council of Governors Holds 27th Plenary Meeting

Video of the meeting’s public sessions can be found here.

Center for Best Practices – Vice Chair’s Corner

NGA’s Vice Chair Colorado Governor Jared Polis leads the Center for Best Practices.

Education Webinar with Governor Moore

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading recently hosted a webinar, Building on Common Ground: A Governor’s Conversation featuring Maryland Governor Wes Moore, and a panel discussion between Denise Forte of The Education Trust; Seth Gerson, NGA’s K-12 Education Program Director; Lucy Berrier Matheson of The Hunt Institute; and Martin West with Harvard Graduate School of Education and Education Next.   

Governor Moore highlighted the importance of building bipartisan relationships and utilizing data to make policy decisions in all areas, including the science of early brain development, children’s school readiness and child poverty. 

Panelists echoed Governor Moore as they shared insights into bipartisan education issues such as school safety, student mental health and academic achievement. 

NGA’s Seth Gerson also shared background on NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox’s new Disagree Better Chair’s Initiative that aims to help Americans bridge the partisan divide and adopt a more positive approach to political and social discourse.

Report on Stimulant and Polysubstance Use Policy Academy

NGA released the report State and Territory Approaches to Improving Care for Individuals Affected by Stimulant and Polysubstance Use.

The report highlights outcomes from the NGA Center for Best Practices Stimulant and Polysubstance Use Policy Academy which ran from October 2021 through October 2022 with project teams appointed by Governors from American Samoa, Connecticut, Michigan and West Virginia. The aim of the policy academy was to help move states and territories away from single drug-driven approaches and reorient them to be more comprehensive and consider polysubstance use within broader policy approaches. 

Next Generation of the Healthcare Workforce Central Regional Workshop

The Next Generation of the Healthcare Workforce Project recently held its Central Region Workshop in Chicago, Illinois.

The meeting brought together state teams from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, West Virginia and Wisconsin for a day and a half of content that featured team workshops as well as subject matter experts that provided key insights on a variety of issues.

Representatives from the local Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago discussed pediatric healthcare workforce challenges and presented innovative solutions to build the healthcare workforce.

Deloitte spoke about preparing for the healthcare workforce of the future.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Region 5 Administrator CDR Sharyl Trail shared lived experience as a behavioral healthcare provider in rural areas and provided insights on how state project teams can work with the HRSA regional offices as they engage in strategic planning for building the healthcare workforce in their states. 

State teams engaged in peer-to-peer discussions on data and planning, future goals and shared best practices. 

NGA thanks Deloitte for hosting the workshop at their offices and HRSA for providing this opportunity to gather the central region states.

Report on Strengthening Healthcare Career Pathways

NGA released the report Preparing the Next Generation of the Healthcare Workforce: State Strategies for Recruitment and Retention.  

The report examines how Governors have prioritized addressing healthcare workforce shortages related to retirement and burnout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the “silver wave” of baby boom generation workers aging out of the workforce and other compounding factors.

To support state efforts to address healthcare shortages, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) launched a Learning Collaborative to work with states on implementing strategies to strengthen and grow the next generation of the healthcare workforce.

National Deflection Week

NGA recently marked National Deflection Week to join in recognizing the deflection community, including volunteers, partners, service providers and community leaders, for their role in saving lives and reducing drug use.

NGA also released the commentary National Deflection Week to highlight work Governors are leading to grow deflection programs.

NGA is proud to support this work through the Learning Collaborative on Strategies to Support the Development of State-Level Deflection and Pre-Arrest Diversion (DPAD) Initiatives. Launched at the beginning of 2023, this learning collaborative is a six-month-long opportunity designed to support the Governors’ offices and other senior state officials in the development and implementation of a sustainable state-level DPAD initiative addressing the needs of individuals with substance use disorders.

IRS Child Support Briefing 

NGA held a briefing with the National Council of Child Support Directors, the National Tribal Child Support Association and the National Child Support Enforcement Association to provide an overview of the IRS notice sent to states regarding audit findings of unauthorized access or re-disclosure of federal taxpayer information for the purposes of establishing and enforcing paternity and child support payments.

A recording of the meeting is available here.

NGA, FEMA Briefing for Governors’ Offices 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) joined NGA to hold a listening session for states as FEMA works to implement the Community Disaster Resiliency Zones (CDRZ) program. 

The CDRZ Act of 2022 requires FEMA to maintain a natural hazard assessment program and designate CDRZs at the census tract level. FEMA reported that the process to identify these at-risk and at-need communities by census tract will be informed by the National Risk Index along with other data tools. Public feedback to the FEMA CDRZ request for information on risk assessment methodology, CDRZ designation process and frameworks for delivering services and technical assistance closed yesterday.

Member Update

NGAs New Member Update Feature

The new Member Update feature of NGA’s Membership Monthly provides updates Governors’ offices submit to share with other Governors’ offices. Offices are encouraged to contact Ann Corcoran to submit an item for this section.

Governor Shapiro Signs Executive Order Creating First-in-the-Nation Workforce Training Program

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro recently signed an executive order creating the Commonwealth Workforce Transformation Program, a first-in-the-nation job training program that provides workforce development grants to ensure companies, contractors, unions and others have the skilled workforce they need to build Pennsylvania’s infrastructure.

The program allows organizations doing infrastructure work funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or the Inflation Reduction Act to receive up to $40,000 for each new worker they train.

August in Focus

NGA routinely shares photos of Governors at work through the organization’s social media channels. A sampling of this past month’s photo highlights follows.

Top Row (L to R):
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster presents a Governor’s Excellence in Science Award.
Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders kicks off the 18th annual Arkansas Safe Schools Conference.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin marks the building of the world’s largest indoor vertical farming campus.
Middle Row (L to R):
New York Governor Kathy Hochul marks National Night Out.
American Samoa Governor Lemanu P. S. Mauga and Hawai‘i Governor Josh Green, M.D. mark Samoan Heritage Week by attending the Samoan Heritage Festival.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers visits a certified organic perennial fruit farm.

Bottom Row (L to R):
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee wraps up his statewide “Build With Us” tour at a project site designed to alleviate traffic congestion.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy drives the ceremonial golden spike into the ground to celebrate 100 years of the Alaska Railroad.
Maine Governor Janet Mills visits a farm to highlight a business incentive program to train more people to enter the workforce